Difference between E flat and D sharp, I don't get it.

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by RayTorvalds, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    The difference between, in this example, E flat and D sharp confuse me.
    I mean, aren't they the same notes ? Why would you call them differently ?
    I'm trying to get into music theory, so I can use any help I can get.
    Cheers guys :cheers2:
     
  2. Mowgli5555

    Mowgli5555 Senior Member

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    Ascending and descending within a scale/mode should tell you whether the note is flat or sharp.
     
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  3. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    its all about conventions used in notation
    a ascending phrase usually uses sharps as its easier to grasp raising a semitone rather than a whole tone and flattening it a semitone. A descending phrase is simplified by using flats for the same reason.

    at first sight the incorrect use of sharps and flats might seems a minor quibble but when sight reading a unfamiliar piece it can make a huge difference
     
  4. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Yup, same thing.... What he said.

    Depends on who did the writing and which way its going, but they are the same notes.

    All sharps and flats get their names from the notes they are next to. they have none of their own.

    So its just a convention of agreement that people came up with to say that it's easier to use one way going up and the other going down to help avoid confusion and make for easier reading, as Moo said.

    Now that doesn't mean everyone follows the rules......
     
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  5. penguinchit

    penguinchit Senior Member

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    Does that mean if I'm going from D to E, I'm going across D#, but if I'm going from E to D, it'll be Eb?
     
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  6. Who

    Who Who is not here. Please leave a message.... Premium Member

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    My tuner only shows sharps, so none of my guitars have flatter notes.


    ;)
     
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  7. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    They are the same note, but they are named differently depending on the scale that you are using that note in.

    A scale contains 7 named notes, one of each alphabet, before returning to its root note one octave higher as the 8th note.

    If you are talking about your note in the scale of A-sharp minor:
    A# B# C# D# E# F# G# A#
    You call it D# because if you had called it Eb, you would have had two E's and no D's in the scale : A# B# C# Eb E# F# G# A#

    Likewise, if you are talking about your note in the scale of F-minor:
    F G Ab Bb C Db Eb F
    You call it Eb, because calling it D# would have given you two D notes and no E notes: F G Ab Bb C Db D# F
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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  8. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    ^^^^ This!
     
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  9. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Senior Member

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    Good explanation here...this is what cleared it up for me when I took a Music Theory class last year.
     
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  10. DarrellV

    DarrellV Murry Chrirstmers to earl! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Yup! Pretty much sums it up...
    Like @tzd said, it avoids having 2 notes having the same name when writing it out...
     
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  11. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    It depends what key you're in. Its about notation, as Moocheng says.

    In most situations, you'd be right, because that way means fewest accidentals. Notation is always about economy (least ink on the page), for speed of both writing and reading.
    D>D#>E requires just one accidental, the # on the D. D>Eb>E would require two: a b on the first E, and a natural on the second one.
    Likewise E>Eb>D only requires the b on the E, while E>D#>D requires the # and a natural.

    However, if the key was E major (or B), then the E>D#>D would be correct, because D# is in key (needs no accidental), and the natural on the second D is all that's needed.
    Going up D>D#>E (in those keys) needs two accidentals (natural and sharp) but there's no way round that.
    Likewise if the key was Bb or Eb, then D-Eb-E would be correct, again because Eb is in key, and only the natural on E is needed.
     
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  12. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    enharmonic equivalent notes

    upload_2017-10-6_10-59-55.png

    upload_2017-10-6_11-0-11.png
     
  13. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for all your replies everyone. MLP is so full of win ! Great people here.
    I understand now. Cheers everyone, have a great weekend :cheers2:
     
  14. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    And i only use down strokes..



    :laugh2:
     
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  15. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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  16. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    some great explanations here,
    sort of dispels the myth guitarists know nothing about music theory
     
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  17. Alderbeck

    Alderbeck Member

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    Also a musician in an orchestra is reading sheet music and the clef at the beginning tells her what KEY the music is in. The clef will state the number of sharps/flats. E major Clef will signify 4 sharps and one of them is a D#

    It is hard to get your head around at first but so important to name enharmonic notes correctly to the key signature so that everyone understands and you know where you are in the scale.

    The D# in the E maj scale is also the 7th degree so a dominant seventh chord is 1-3-5-b7 which means you flatten the 7th to make the chord. So the musician knows to flatten the D# to play a dominant seventh a D natural.

    Hope this helps :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
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  18. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    This was interesting to see. I do a lot of RiffStation. It just did an upgrade that mentioned something about going to piano notation???? ( I wish I'd read or made note of the sentence better before I hit the button. Now I can't remember exactly what it said.) Anyway, it went from displaying sharps to displaying flats. Is displaying flats more common to a piano score?

    It was a real eye opener for me. Evidently my brain knows sharps way better than it knows flats. Creature of habit. All of a sudden I was totally lost playing stuff I'd been playing for a long time. It was frustrating and funny at the same time. I laughed at myself and chastised myself for being an idiot. Funny how we train our brains. Mine evidently needs work on going the other way.
     
  19. kiko

    kiko Senior Member

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    Music theory makes my head hurt! :420:
     
  20. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    No.
    It may be that Riffstation has suddenly got intelligent about correct choice of enharmonics, but I very much doubt it - although perhaps it now gets more right than it used to (if it only showed sharps before). Knowing which enharmonic is correct in every case would be way too much for any software at the level of Riffstation.

    (Can the new upgrade now recognise more chords than maj, min and dom7? It's about time...)
    Well, to at least balance both ways appropriately! :)
     

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